This popular, easy walk is known for the falls at the end of the trail, but I like it best for the scenery along the way. The road (and later actual trail), winds through some of the prettiest, oak-dotted, rolling pasture in Northern California. This hike is best in the wet season, when the grass is green and lush, the falls are thundering, and the brooks are babbling.
The falls themselves are impressive, but dangerous. A chain link fence borders the worst of the drop-offs, but it has been bent to barely waist high in places. After craning your neck over the edge, I recommend walking downstream to one of the smaller falls and calmer pools for a break.
The route is fairly straightforward. A dirt road, ending in a gate, marks the first half of the route. Shortly after passing the gate, and entering the meadow, the hiker has a choice of three routes to the falls: the upper loop, the lower loop, and a dirt road. Top Trails Sacramento recommends taking the upper loop to the falls and the dirt road on the return. The upper loop is initially steep, but soon levels to a narrow track along the side of the ridge. On the return, the road will take one along Dry Creek with plenty of opportunities for doggy dips.
Please note that hunting is permitted in this area from Sept 1 to Jan 31. We heard many shots while hiking but no hunting activity took place along the walking route.
Source: Evans, Stephen L. "Shingle Falls Trail: Spenceville Wildlife Area" Top Trails Sacramento. 4th ed. Birmingham: Wilderness, 2012. Print.
Length: 4.9 miles.
Water: Dry Creek flows all year. In January, the tributary streams were flowing as well.
Differences from published description: None.
Jasper’s rating: 4 paws out of 5.
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